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- This was my situation, when nearly ten months since, the Marquis and Felicité went to visit a nobleman that had likewise emigrated from France with his lady, who was Felicité's god-mother; and having been informed she was dangerously ill, my father and sister set off to visit her at a country seat in Somersetshire, where they resided ; which was lent them for their residence, by an English gentleman their friend, to whom it belonged. I was left in town to guard our little property, and to superintend our family affairs ; more particularly, as we were in lodgings, and did not like to leave them to the sole protection of our English servant.
“ My governess and her husband had quitted us some time, the Marquis having placed them in a perfumer's shop, which he considered would be a more comfortable
subsistence for them, than res : us, as we could not otherwise have provided for them so liberally as they de.
served ; yet with the utmost reluctance they parted from us.
“ The following evening after their departure, my lover came to me, and mentioning that a most amusing play was to be acted that evening, persuaded me, after a great deal of hesitation, to accompany him to it; for I was indeed very reluctant to go out any where in the absence of my father, who would be displeased if he knew it. But how difficult it is to resist the importunities of a person we love. The only defence, I believe, is to avoid placing yourself in such situations as expose you to solicitation ; and fortunate would it have been for me, if I had then reflected in this manner, being unhappily of a disposition easily persuaded to compliance with any plan, by those I esteemed : a facility that has been of fatal consequence to me. ..
“ Contrary, therefore, to the conduct I should have pursued, I went to the the
atre ; but hardly was the second act con.. cluded, before an alarm of fire was spread throughout the house; and terrified at the circumstance, I hastily requested my companion, whom in future, I shall style Mr. Belmont, to assist me to quit the playhouse as soon as possible. He endeavored to compose my fears, while he complied with my entreaties ; but when we reached the lobby, it was instantly announced that some pickpockets had cried out fire, to occasion a crowd, that they might with ease commit their depredations, and that there was no other danger but from them.
- At this intelligence, we would have returned, but the concourse of people were so great, that it was impossible ; the chief part crouding back to the boxes, which made it more easier to go forwards ; for in attempting to return, the pressure of the people was so great, that I was nearly fainting. Mr. Belmont perceived this, and supported me as well as he was able, till
· we got out of the theatre. It rained very
hard, and feeling myself extremely ill and not a coach to be procured, he told me he was acquainted with a lady (whose name I forget) that lived very near, and if I approved it, would receive me with pleasure. I could wait there, he said, till quite recovered, and he had procured me a carriage.
“ This proposal I accepted without the least reflection, and in a few minutes we arrived at a spacious house, though in what street it was situated, I am ignorant. We were shewn into an elegant drawingroom, when the spirits I had exerted to support myself, gave way, and I sunk quite senseless in a chair. Every exertion was practised to recover me, and I remember they gave me wine to drink, which not being accustomed to, made me quite giddy and my senses totally confused. The first question I asked, when I felt a little recovered, was to see the lady of the house, to
apoloapologize for the trouble I had occasioned; but the women servants who attended me during my fainting, replied, that she was from home, and that Mr. Belmont was her intimate friend, and might command every thing in her house ; and with these words and a respectful curtsey, they left me alone with him.
- They were no sooner gone, than I urged him to procure me a coach to go instantly home; but with the most insinuating persuasive language, he contrived to prolong the time; and my judgment, clouded by the indisposition I had sustained, and the wine I bad drank, which obscured my intellects, I was prevailed on to remain till I had sacrificed my peace of mind, by too firm a confidence in my seducer, and reliance on his honor and the promises he made me; added to his assertions, that I could not have the least regard for him, if I hesitated to place myself entirely in his power.